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Movies - Just Missed

Movies that "Just Missed" – Numbers 26 through 100 (12/9/2012 Review)

Even as I cut my top 25 list down to size there were so many great movies that I felt still needed to be mentioned.  This list is currently a little over 75 so any additional movies will require a demotion to the Honorable Mention List.

Back to School (1986)

Coming of the success of Caddyshack, Rodney Dangerfield did this great comedy about a rich guy well, going back to school.  The plot isn’t all that farfetched and the chemistry between the actors is pretty good.  The movie is worth a view if only to catch a very young Robert Downey, Jr. as Rodney’s son’s roommate at college.

Beverly Hills Cop (1984)
Beverly Hills Cop 2 (1987)

Eddie Murphy was ready to be a star on his own and was great as Detroit Detective Alex Foley.  In all fairness, I was stationed in Detroit when the movie was filmed.  We actually moved some of our buoys to facilitate filming (the credits the BM1 who led the buoy crew ended up on the cutting room floor).  The acting is outstanding as is the entire cast.  While the action is a little over the top, it all some still works.  Sadly, BHC III (1994) doesn’t quite make the list.

Blue Thunder (1983)

This is a decent enough movie about the police using a heavily armed, high tech helicopter and actually trying to stir up trouble so they can use it on a crowd.  Roy Schieder is, as to be expected, excellent.

Blues Brothers (1980)

They were on a mission from God.  Just the scenes in Bob’s Country Bunker and the final show make this a classic.

Bull Durham (1988)

I grew up in a minor league town and Costner does a wonderful job in this well cast movie that may be just a little too close to the truth for some.

Bullitt (1968)

This is Steve McQueen at his finest.  The car chase scene is generally considered one of the best ever in the history of movies.

Cobra (1986)

To some, this is the worst Stallone Movie of all times; but there is just something about it that makes it a favorite.  This film does have some of the best Stallone one liners of all time.

Days of Thunder (1990)

Tom Cruise’s explanation of drafting using two sugar packs on Nicole Kidman’s leg is the best I ever have seen.  Of course how the two main antagonists settle the question of who’s driving to dinner is still the best scene in the film.

Death Wish (1974)

Charles Bronson is at his best in this thriller.

Diamonds are Forever (1971)

This is classic James Bond.

Die Hard (1988)
Die Hard 2 (1990)
Die Hard with a Vengeance (1995)
Live Free or Die Hard (2007)

More of a series than sequels, the misadventures of Bruce Willis never seem to get old.  As police officer John McClain, Willis is essentially playing himself which is when he is at his absolute best.

Dr. No (1962)

This was the first Bond movie and still one of the best.

Escape From New York (1981)

A somewhat dark view of what the future may hold.  Great quotes like “Snake Pliscon, I thought you were dead?” make this one worth watching.

First Blood (1982)

This is the first of what became a series.  They should have stopped at one.

French Connection (1971)

This movie has perhaps the best car chases scene ever filmed.

Gotcha! (1985)

A lot of people only know Anthony Edwards from ER and perhaps remember him as “Goose” in Top Gun.  In this movie he played a young college student that somehow gets wrapped up with a CIA operative who recruits him into unknowingly transporting a secret film from East Berlin back to West Berlin (obviously before the Berlin wall came down) 

Gran Torino (2008)

This is a great Clint Eastwood effort on the same level as the Dirty Harry movies.  The reading of Walt’s will at the end makes the whole movie worthwhile.  This movie is just waiting to hit the 10 year mark to bust into my all time Top 25.

Greatest Game Ever Played (2005)

The story of the 1913 U. S. Open with a bit (ok, a lot) of Disney magic added in.

Happy Gilmore (1996)

This movie was so bad that the PGA tour wanted nothing to do with it; that probably explains why I like it so much!  Yes, the movie is full of plot holes but once again, who really cares?

Herbie the Love Bug (1968) 
Herbie Rides Again (1974)

The original Herbie was a silly, but hilarious movie starring Dean Jones as a down and out race car driver.  Herbie Rides Again captured the spirit of Herbie (as well as starring the very hot Stephanie Powers) There were two other sequels to the original, Herbie Goes to Monte Carlo and Herbie Goes Bananas which weren’t quite up to the standards of the first two; they don’t even make the just missed list.  A later sequel, Herbie Fully Loaded (starring a pre-flaked out Lindsey Lohan) is an ok movie, but not Top 100 material.

Hooper (1978)

A movie about making a movie; sure it’s been done before so a great supporting cast and some even better stunt work makes this a worthwhile movie.  If you’re running short on time, just watch about the last half hour.

Hot Stuff (1979)

This is a pretty funny cop buddy movie starring Dom Deluise, Jerry Reed and Suzanne Pleshette as undercover cops who take over a fencing operation to catch crooks.  Although you would think an operation such as the one depicted in this movie is a little far-fetched, with a little imagination you could probably picture it happening.  The number of F-bombs dropped by Dom Deluise may surprise some people as may the scene with him getting high while “sampling” some drugs brought in for sale.

Independence Day (1996)

Space Invaders has been done before (can you say “War of the Worlds?”), but Will Smith leads a well cast movie.  The beginning can be a little slow, but the final showdown makes it all worthwhile.

Kentucky Fried Movie (1977)

This is an absolute gem in my opinion - although my wife absolutely hates it.  This is a collection of shorts that pretty much parody everything that was going on in the late 70’s.

Kingpin (1996)

This movie is a little on the crude side but for some reason I like it a lot.

Lethal Weapon (1987)
Lethal Weapon 2 (1989)
Lethal Weapon 3 (1992)
Lethal Weapon 4 (1998)

The chemistry between Mel Gibson and Danny Glover never gets old in this series.  The straight laced by the book Murtaugh (Glover) and crazy Riggs (Gibson) face a steady stream of wicked characters that need to be put out of their misery.  This is done in the most gruesome manner in each film starting out with traitorous mercenaries in the first film, evil South Africans in the second, a bad ex-cop in the third and Chinese crime lord in the fourth.

The Longest Yard (1974)

This is another Burt Reynolds movie I like a lot.  I was a little put out when I saw it was being remade (2005), but the remake was done very well.

Man of the House (2005)

Tommy Lee Jones pretty much plays himself as a Texas Ranger assigned to protect a house full of attractive college girls.  Needless to say things don’t always go as well as he would like.

M*A*S*H (1970)

Before the very popular TV series, there actually was a pretty good movie.

Mary Poppins (1964)

This is an absolute Disney classic.

Men in Black (1997) 
Men in Black II (2002) 
MIB III (2012)

Tommy Lee Jones and Will Smith have some great chemistry in these three films. 

Millennium (1898)

Kris Kristofferson and Cheryl Ladd are pretty good in this movie about a futuristic society that sends agents back in time to repopulate their society.  This is one of the few movies about time travel that actually takes into account the idea of such travel creating paradoxes.

Nine to Five (1980)

Who hasn’t at one time or another thought about doing in the boss?  Dabney Coleman is at his absolute best as the wicked boss and Lily Tomlin is perfect as his foil.  Dolly Parton is Coleman’s long suffering secretary who has to put up with his sexist, egotistical manner. Even Jane Fonda is tolerable in this one.

No Country For Old Men (2007)

A great movie that is just waiting to make my top 25 list when it hits 10 years.

Other People’s Money (1991)

The movie stars Danny Devito as a Wall Street shark who falls in love with lawyer (Penelope Ann Miller) during a hostile takeover attempt of a factory.  Gregory Peck is very well cast as the benevolent president of the company and Dean Jones does a great job as the skittish plant manager.

Overboard (1987)

This film features some outstanding chemistry between Goldie Hawn and Kurt Russell.  Of course, any movie that features the Coast Guard gets extra points from me.

Patton (1970)

This is perhaps the definitive WWII movie.  This is a long movie for sure, but it is for the most part historically accurate and in fact well cast.  There are several great scenes that I can easily see having taken place.  My favorite doesn’t even involve George C. Scott.  There is a scene where General Bradley’s men are under fire and his jeep is destroyed and he finds himself hunkered down with some of his infantry men.  One of the soldier’s asks “whose idea was this” and Karl Malden (General Bradley) replies “I don’t know, but they ought to shoot him!”

Perfect (1985)

This movie was a bit of a comeback for a post Saturday Night Fever and pre Pulp Fiction John Travolta.  Travolta stars as a writer for Rolling Stone Magazine and becomes smitten with aerobics instructor Jamie Lee Curtis.

The Ratings Game (1984)

This overlooked classic stars Danny Devito as a successful businessman who wants to be a TV star and discovers by accident how the ratings really work as a result of a chance meeting with a woman (Rhea Pearlman) who works for the rating operator. 

Risky Business (1983)

The train scene alone makes this one worthy of mention.

Rocky (1976)

The first Rocky movie was a really good production.  It somewhat went downhill from there.

Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975) (LD)

Damn it, Janet, this one just misses the top 25.  Back in the late 1970’s, this movie was a staple for midnight audiences on Fridays and Saturdays, typically shown at a smaller, out of the way theatre.  People would actually dress like the characters and often were allowed to perform in front of the screen.  Even the audience would bring props and get into it.  Sadly in most places it started to get out of hand but watching this film brings back some fond memories of the time.

Satisfaction (1988) (VHS – Poor)

This was to be Justine Bateman’s big start in the movies.  It didn’t quite work out for her.  Still, I enjoy the movie about a bunch of city kids from Philly who get a job as a house band at a seaside resort.  Liam Neeson has a starring role in this stinker and it is one of Julia Roberts’ first roles.  They even tried to repackage the movie several years later after Roberts had become more of a star under the title “The Girls of Summer”.  Even though the movie for the most part sucks, I like it enough for it to make my top 100.

Saturday Night Fever (1977)

In the late 1970’s, disco was king and this film celebrated the reign.  If you’ve ever known anyone from New York City, particularly Brooklyn, you’ll understand this movie has an awful lot of truth in it.

School of Rock (2003)

I’m not all that big of a Jack Black fan, but he really puts it all together in this one.  Watch for a very young Miranda Cosgrove (iCarly).

Secret of My Success (1987)

Michael J. Fox basically playing himself in this often overlooked movie.  Of course it was released just a couple months before the huge stock market crash in 1987.

Sixteen Candles (1984)

In my opinion, the late John Hughes best film.  I don’t know where to start but it still cracks me up.

Skyfall (2012)

An instant classic among James Bond movies - It is just going to have to sit on this list for 10 years.

Speedway (1968)

I’ve never been that big of an Elvis movie fan, but this one is worth it just to see the vintage footage of the Charlotte Motor Speedway.

The Spy Who Loved Me (1977)

This movie has perhaps the best Bond opening sequence of all time.  The rest of the movie is pretty good too!

Strange Brew (1983)

Doug and Bob save the world from an evil scientist – need I say anymore?

Stroker Ace (1983)

This film features Burt Reynolds basically playing himself as a stock car driver.  You could say this movie is “Smokey and the Bandit meets NASCAR”.  As in most good Reynolds films, it’s the supporting cast that carries the load, in this case Jim Nabors and Ned Beatty.  Let’s face it, Loni Anderson never could act, but even she adds to this often overlooked gem.

Sudden Impact (1983)

“Are you feeling lucky, punk?”  Clint Eastwood in what I think is his finest portrayal of Dirty Harry”.  Sondra Locke is pretty darn good too.

Terminator (1984)
Terminator 2: Judgment Day (T2) (1991)

I remember going to see the original movie while I was in Detroit.  I went because the movie I wanted to see had a huge line.  I didn’t know what to expect but was held rapt for almost two hours.  This movie was way ahead of its time and has stood up quite well over time as a classic.

Threads (1984)

This is perhaps the most realistic post apocalyptic nuclear war movie ever made.  There is nothing glitzy here.  If you don’t have a pretty strong stomach you should probably avoid this one.

Thunderball (1965)

Classic Bond

Tin Cup (1996)

Golf and Romance – what more can you ask for?

Top Gun (1986)

This is a fast paced movie with a testosterone level that is off the chart.

Trading Places (1983)

The final scene on the trading floor alone makes this movie classic.

12 O’clock High (1949)

This movie has probably been shown more in leadership classes than it ever was at the theatre.  This one just misses the top 25.

2010: The Year We Make Contact (1984)

This picture is a halfway decent sequel to 2001, but nowhere nearly as rich and vibrant. One good thing is that the movie does answer some of the questions from 2001.

Toy Story 2 (1999)
Toy Story 3 (2010)

An absolutely wonderful final (or are they?) two installments. Toy Story three brought tears to my eyes at the end.

Twister (1996)

Sure, the movie is full of factual errors but really who cares, right?  The chemistry between the stars, Bill Paxton and Helen Hunt, is excellent.  The supporting actors are all very good including “Rabbit” played by Alan Ruck (Cameron for Ferris Buehler’s Day Off).

Wall Street (1987)

Why you ask; because, as Gordon Gekko would say “greed is good”.  A very well cast film about a Wall Street during the go-go 1980’s leading up to the market crash in 1987.

War Games (1983)

This is a pretty funny yet scary movie about a kid who hacks into NORAD and almost starts World War III. 

The Waterboy (1998)

A well cast Adam Sandler vehicle that is actually pretty funny throughout.  I really love the late Jerry Reed as the villain and Henry Winkler as the hapless coach.

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